Mitred Archpriest John Nehrebecki, 89, fell asleep in the Lord on Great and Holy Saturday morning, April 7, 2018. Father John was Pastor Emeritus of Christ the Saviour Church, Paramus, NJ, which he and his beloved wife, Matushka Eugenia, founded and faithfully served until his retirement in 2003.
Father John was born as the eleventh child of Michael and Veronica Korsh Nehrebecki in Donora, PA on May 4, 1928. Raised at Donora’s Saint Nicholas Church, he graduated from Donora High School, where he played football and performed in school plays. He then enrolled in Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, from which he graduated in 1950. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV and a Masters in Russian Studies from City University of New York before completing course work at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY and Fordham University, Bronx, NY. He also pursued doctoral studies at Columbia University, New York, NY, while serving as chaplain.
On May 22, 1952, he married the former Eugenia Yankovsky, daughter of the late Archpriest Elias and Matushka Euphrosina Trembach Yankowsky, at Holy Resurrection Church, West Brownsville, PA. He was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, Archbishop Dimitri [Magan] on July 4, 1952 at Saint Mary Church, Lynn, MA, after which he was assigned Rector of Saint Mary Church, Osceola Mills, PA. The following year he was assigned Rector of Three Saints Church, Garfield, NJ, which he served until Christ the Saviour Church was planted. Through the years he had established nine additional parishes in New Jersey and New York state and the Orthodox Chapel at the US Military Academy, West Point, NY. Throughout his nearly 66 years of priesthood, he served for 40 years as the peer-elected Dean of the New Jersey Deanery. In 1970, he was among the members of the delegation that traveled to Moscow to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly granted to the Orthodox Church in America by the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2017, he was granted the dignity of wearing the mitre by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America.
Father John was preceded in death by his parents and his ten brothers and sisters, Susanna, Dimitri, Basil, Gregory, Simeon, Mary, Peter, Anna, Paul, and Joseph.
In addition to his beloved Matushka Eugenia, Father John is survived by their six children—Vladimir [Elena] Nehrebecki, Matushka Mariam [Archpriest David] Vernak, Tatiana [Louis] Evangelista, Matushka Olga [the late Archpriest David Alexander] Atty, Anastasia Jacobs and Theodora [Richard] Gramkow. He is further survived by 20 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.
Visitation and all services will be held at Christ the Saviour Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ. On Monday, April 9, Vespers and the Paschal Panikhida will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, April 10, visitation will begin at noon and continue until 7:00 p.m., at which time the Paschal Funeral Service will commence. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. A repast will follow before interment at 4:00 p.m. at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Cemetery, South Canaan, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Father John’s memory to Christ the Saviour Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey 07652.
May Father John’s memory be eternal!